Margaret S. Chin New York City Council member

The City Council member representing Chinatown, Margaret Chin, received a notification from Facebook that suggested she change the category of her official account “NYC Council District 1 – Council Member Margaret S. Chin” on the social media platform from the current “Government Official” to “Government Official + Chinese Restaurant.”

Chin was not pleased and took to another social media platform to talk about it. She wrote on her Twitter “I’m glad that @Facebook recognizes that I have a Chinese name but not every Chinese American elected official runs a Chinese restaurant. It’s #APAHM! Fix your microaggressive algorithm!”

She said the alert was based on deep-rooted stereotypes about Asian immigrants. What added insult to injury was that the occurrence happened in May, which is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.

Councilwoman Chin’s demand for Facebook to explain itself was supported by many followers on Twitter.

Sarah Pollack, a spokesperson for Facebook, told the World Journal on May 11 that the company took the matter seriously and had spent the whole day investigating. Pollack said Facebook would like to deeply apologize to the council member, and will keep investigating to find out what caused the system to make this mistake.

In a statement Margaret Chin issued afterward, she said the notification from Facebook sends a very disappointing message to its users with diverse backgrounds, and “while making this correction presented only a minor inconvenience, I have to wonder how many other Asian Americans and communities of color have felt marginalized, misrepresented or stereotyped – either directly or indirectly – by this technology.”

The story originally appeared on World Journal (in Chinese)

Mayor Floats Controversial Plan to Build Massive New Jail on Centre Street
New York Trib
De Blasio is considering a plan to convert the city’s Marriage Bureau in Lower Manhattan into a prison complex as part of his scheme to shutter the city’s main jail
Dr. Mary T. Bassett Is Stepping Down as City’s Health Commissioner
New York Trib
Dr. Bassett will accept a role at Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, First Deputy Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot to serve as Acting Health Commissioner
A.G. Underwood Wants to Block Distribution of Online Files for 3-D Printed Guns
New York Trib
She will file suit against the Trump administration to block the distribution of materials that enable the printing of untraceable, undetectable guns using 3-D printers.
The City Restarts Process on Glendale Homeless Shelter
New York Trib
According to Councilman Robert Holden, the city is in negotiations for a proposed men’s homeless shelter at the site of the shuttered factory. The proposed shelter would bring 200 beds to
Money From Crime Busts to Fund Statewide Program to Equip NY Local Law-Enforcement Officers With Body Cameras
New York Trib
The CAMS program dedicates $2 million of funds seized as part of joint federal-state organized crime prosecutions to fund the purchase of body-worn cameras.
Bronx Documentary Center Gets Boost for Filmmaking Program
New York Trib
Last week, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. provided the center with $100,000 in capital funds for the film fellows program.
Construction Underway for New Green Playground at P.S. 282 in Park Slope
New York Trib
Former Asphalt Lot will be Transformed with Green Infrastructure to Capture Nearly 1 Million Gallons of Stormwater Annually and Improve the Health of the Gowanus Canal.
Stuyvesant Grads Want More Diversity, but Cautious About Scrapping SHSAT
New York Trib
Graduates of Stuyvesant High School agree that lack of diversity is a problem at their elite school, but they have mixed opinions on whether the mayor’s plan to radically remake